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A Father, Role Model and Leader

Wednesday, 5 October, 2011 - 9:31 pm

 A Father, Role Model and Leader

Just 2 weeks ago my wife Fraida gave birth to our second daughter, Henya Chasha. Henya’s birth came right before Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, “The High Holy Days”, which are days of reflection of the past and preparation for the future. Between shuttling Rochel Leah (our older daughter) to friends, visiting the hospital and preparing notes, in order to be able to have a running commentary during the High Holiday Services, there was little time for reflection and preparation.

However, while driving, I have had the opportunity to think (especially with the new texting while driving ban – and it’s not safe anyway). As a father, my children emulate me. They learn how to talk based on how I talk. How to act based on how I act. Learn what is valuable based on what I prove to be valuable through my actions. 

Perfection is not me; I am human and make mistakes. My children will learn to imitate some of those faults. However, during this time of reflection, I realize that identifying those mistakes and rectifying them - calling a spade a spade - and admitting to those mistakes to myself and to those I need to say sorry to, is the first step in the process of becoming a better person – I am my childrens’ role model.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught that a true leader creates leaders. If I am going to lead my children, I must make sure they recognize their duty to the community to be leaders andinfluence the people to learn more Torah and to add in the observance of mitzvoth. ( http://www.imitzvah.net/) Will I be theirleader?

The Rebbe ended his Rosh Hashana Letter with the following blessing, May it be fulfilled

“I hope and pray that everyone of you will become a leader and source of good influence in your environment, leading Jews, and Jewish youth particularly, to a true Jewish life, a life of happiness, a life where its spiritual and material aspects are properly balanced. Such perfect harmony of the spiritual and material can only be found in the Torah and Mitzvoth, and in the light of the Torah you will lead your colleagues and friends to true happiness.

G‑d Bless you and your respective families with a Chasimo and Gmar Chasimo Toivo”

Have an Easy Fast,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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